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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Appeal to bring Bentley Blockade to the big screen

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Director Brendan Shoebridge and producer Susie Forster are hoping to create a documentary about the Bentley Blockade. (pic supplied)
Director Brendan Shoebridge and producer Susie Forster are hoping to create a documentary about the Bentley Blockade. (pic supplied)

Local filmmakers are launching a crowd funding appeal to help bring the story of the Bentley Blockade to the big screen.

They want to create a feature length documentary that tells the story of the blockade and the social movement that led to it.

The proposed film’s director Brendan Shoebridge, a Lismore native, has been following and filming the fight against unconvential gas mining since early 2011.

‘It’s a monster of a project but it feels like the film will come at the right time and crowdfunding is a good fit, given it’s about an inspiring display of community strength,’ Mr Shoebridge said.

‘The northern rivers has an amazing heritage.

‘Most people here have made a conscious choice to live a safe, clean, low-impact lifestyle, so to have the threat of gasfield industrialisation come to the region’s door is a big story.

‘Ultimately it’s about the fight we all face for a safe, clean future so it’s a story that simply must be told.’

Producer Susie Forster said the proposed film was timely.

‘With Metgasco rising from the ashes like a wheezy Darth Vader, the need is more urgent than ever to make a film that will both inform and inspire the world about how our community has, so far, stopped the creeping cancerous spread of gas wells in our region,’ Ms Forster said.

The crowd funding campaign will be launched on planetfunder.org and will run for the month of June.

Funds raised would cover the post-production costs associated with creating a rough cut of the documentary. Further funds would be sought at the end of the year to cover the completion costs.

The film makers said the documentary would be told through the eyes of the ‘protectors’, and would seek to capture was has been described as the ‘Eureka Stockade’ of our time.

Supporters have been invited to join the film makers and the Knitting Nannas Against Gas at the campaign launch on 31 May at the Lismore Workers Club between 2pm and 4pm.

The launch will feature live music and a preview of the film’s teaser.

Anyone unable to attend the launch will be able to donate at planetfunder.org on 1 June.

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  1. If anything we are all so much closer because of Bentley and Brendan and Susie were a huge part of that. It will be interesting to watch peoples generosity exceed your expectations for this worthwhile community project. How much money will you need?

    • Hi Kim,
      We are looking to funding to pay 2 editors for 26 weeks of cutting, a script consultant, company set-up costs, some preliminary music composition, 2x 32 TB hard drives and a web designer for the Bentley Effect website. It sounds like quite a bit, but we will be working on a shoestring in filmmaking terms. This is stage one of funding, there will be a stage two once we have a compelling rough cut. Come to the launch and see the final figure for this first stage!

  2. Go Brendan and Susie! Hopefully your generosity of time and spirit at Bentley, is paid off with this fabulous idea.

  3. In the spirit of sharing, empathy, support, selflessness solidarity – all that made Bentleigh so special and so effective – is exactly what this film can offer, at the very least, to the global community facing the similar crisis. Good on you. ‘Wheezy Darth Vader rising from the ashes’ – hilarious and apt description of The Fiasco! (Metgasco) hahaha love it I can see El Presidente Henderson with his death mask and walking cane hobbling along to the bank

  4. You all have the right Idea. Stop them before they start. Here in New Mexico it has been going on more than 15 years. The Methane cloud that hovers in the 4 corners area can be seen from Space. Once they get started—they are nearly impossible to shut down. Just too much money for all parties. Oklahoma, Texas and Pennsylvania, normally Geologically stable states with excellent ground water. More than 2 years now, a match to their tap water and it will burn freely from the Methane. Low level Earthquakes and tremors have become a regular occurence. The foundations and walls of peoples homes crack. There is no relief in sight. So by all means, stop them before they start.


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